sesame oil

” LION’S HEAD SOUP ” ( SHR ZA TOU )

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” LION’S HEAD SOUP ” ( SHR ZA TOU )

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Meatballs come in many shapes, sizes and flavors. In the western cuisine we are most familiar with Italian meatballs, while in Asian cuisine soup dumplings are the most common.
Among Asian meatballs, Chinese lion heads are probably my favorite plain (no wrapper) meatballs. They are usually served in a flavorful soup, loaded with the Lions heads, black mushrooms, rice noodles and napa cabbage (pekinensis group cabbage).
Whenever I prepare the soup at home, (click here to see a version I usually prepare at home), I usually do the traditional chinese way, as described above. However, when I prepared the one featured here, I had leftover dumpling wrappers and ground pork mix in the fridge from the previous day’s  “CHINESE PORK DUMPLINGS IN TAMARIND BROTH”.  I always have frozen homemade chicken stock in the fridge, so this  ” LION’S HEAD SOUP ”  was a no-brainer and it took only a few minutes to put together. Easy does it when you’re lazy ! 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Lion’s Head Soup  on  ChefsOpinion
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P.S.
Click  Here  or  Here  for  Lion’s Head Meatballs Recipe (different recipes)
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” LION’S HEAD SOUP ” ( SHR ZA TOU )

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More Lion’s Head Soup variations :
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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures

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Chinese Pork Dumplings In Tamarind Broth

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Chinese dumplings in soup – there must be a thousand and one variations. Different stuffings, different shapes, different wrappers to enclose the dumplings, dumplings without wrappers (spherical), different broths/soups, thick soups, clear soups, different vegetables to include in the soups, etc, etc, etc.
Then there are all the other Asian countries who have their own traditional versions of all of the above. So, basically, there is probably a MILLION and one recipes out there, one better than the other. 🙂
I have prepared many different ones myself over the decades, both while working in Asia and learning from the locals, as well as creating my own versions of some of the ones I learned to prepare over the years.
The point is, there are too many Asian dumpling soups to mention, but here I give you the most basic, delicious and quick version there is. Once you master this, you will be able to build on that knowledge and practice, preparing your own versions with the ingredients which are the most easy to obtain, the most affordable and the most delicious for your own preferred taste and texture. For this basic recipe, I suggest that you use store-bought wanton wrappers, ground pork and tamarind broth. Then, next time, move on to shrimp, lobster, scallops, chicken or whatever protein you prefer, then use any vegetables or mushrooms you have at hand, any broth/soup such as chicken, beef, fish, sour, spicy, with or without egg, thickened or clear, with or without garlic, with or without ginger, sesame oil, chili oil, fresh lime, calamansi, or – WHATEVER !
Just try to make the whole soup a harmonious combination of flavors and textures. 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for  CHINESE NEW YEAR EGG DUMPLING SOUP ( 蛋饺 ) ( DAN JIAO )  on  ChefsOpinion    (Click here to read about : The Year of the Pig begins on Tuesday February 5, 2019)

Click here for more  Dumplings  on  ChefsOpinion

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P.S.
To prepare the tamarind broth, season chicken beef, seafood or Vegetable broth with tamarind paste or granulated tamarind to taste
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Just a pretty set………

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Pork Dumplings In Tamarind Broth

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Pork Dumplings In Tamarind Broth

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures

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Gordon Bond

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Seafood Fried Rice

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Seafood Fried Rice

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Seafood Fried Rice

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Seafood Fried Rice

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Seafood Fried Rice

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Excerpt from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

Fried rice is a dish of cooked rice that has been stir-fried in a wok or a frying pan and is usually mixed with other ingredients such as eggsvegetables, seafood, or meat. It is often eaten by itself or as an accompaniment to another dish. Fried rice is a popular component of EastSoutheast and certain South Asian cuisines. As a homemade dish, fried rice is typically made with ingredients left over from other dishes, leading to countless variations. Being an economical hodgepodge, the same approach is often taken with fried noodles or pyttipanna as well. Fried rice first developed during the Sui Dynasty in China and as such all fried rice dishes can trace their origins to Chinese fried rice.

Many popular varieties of fried rice have their own specific list of ingredients. In Greater China, the most famous varieties include Yangzhou fried rice and Hokkien fried rice. Japanese chāhan is considered a Japanese Chinese dish, having derived from Chinese fried rice dishes. Korean bokkeum-bap in general is not, although there is a Korean Chinese variety of bokkeum-bap. In Southeast Asia, similarly constructed Indonesian, Malaysian, and Singaporean nasi goreng and Thai khao phat are popular dishes. In the West, most restaurants catering to vegetarians have invented their own varieties of fried rice, including egg fried rice. Fried rice is also seen on the menus of American restaurants offering cuisines with no native tradition of the dish. Additionally, there are variations of fried rice in Middle and South Americas. Some of these variations include Ecuadorian chaulafan, Peruvian arroz chaufa, Cuban arroz frito, and Puerto Rican arroz mamposteao.

Fried rice is a popular street food in Asia. In some Asian countries, small restaurants, street vendors and traveling hawkers specialize in serving fried rice. In Indonesian cities it is common to find fried rice street hawkers moving through the streets with their food cart and stationing it in busy streets or residential areas. Many Southeast Asian street food stands offer fried rice with a selection of optional garnishes and side dishes”.

P.S.
If you ever wonder why fried rice in some chinese restaurants is so beautifully golden in color, here is the answer: Add a pinch of turmeric 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Seafood Fried Rice

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Seafood Fried Rice

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Seafood Fried Rice

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Seafood Fried Rice

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Chinese New Year Egg Dumpling Soup ( 蛋饺 ) ( Dan Jiao )

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Chinese New Year Egg Dumpling Soup ( 蛋饺 ) ( Dan Jiao )

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I prepared this soup on February 16th, the day of the Chinese new year and the beginning of the year of the dog.
I had planned to prepare and publish this post well before the 16th, in order to give my readers a chance to bring this wonderful, traditional dish to the table as part of the new year’s dinner celebration. Alas, some unforeseen events kept me from doing so. Now then, here it is, “Chinese New Year Egg Dumpling Soup, two weeks late for the New Year celebration, but NOT TOO late, since these wonderful dumplings can, of course, be enjoyed anytime during the year. 🙂
Chinese egg dumplings, also known as dan jiao, are also often served in hot pots, in other soups or just as is, with a tasty dipping sauce.
These dumplings may look a lot more complicated and difficult to prepare as they actually are, so there is no reason not to enjoy them often. 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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P.S.
These dumplings cook in a very short time when simmered in soup, so you should add them towards the very end of the cooking time !
They can also be prepared ahead and frozen, then easily reheated in simmering soup.
However, if you serve the dumplings without soup, bake them or steam them for a short time, since the original short cooking time in the omelet is not enough to cook the meat through !
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P.P.S.
This soup is believed to bring good luck and prosperity for the new year because of its long noodles (longevity),
and the color of the dumplings, which resembles the color of gold coins ( prosperity)
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Chinese New Year Egg Dumpling Soup ( 蛋饺 ) ( Dan Jiao )

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Chinese New Year Egg Dumpling Soup ( 蛋饺 ) ( Dan Jiao )

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Chinese New Year Egg Dumpling Soup ( 蛋饺 ) ( Dan Jiao )

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Chinese New Year Egg Dumpling Soup ( 蛋饺 ) ( Dan Jiao )

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Pulled Hoisin-Pork Ciabatta Sandwich

Pulled Hoisin-Pork Ciabatta Sandwich

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When it comes to pulled pork, the heavily smoked American version is a wonderful dish
– however, like everything else that has overpowering smoky smoked flavor, it is my least favorite version. I rather have a latin style pulled pork, such as Mexican, Puerto Rican or Cuban.
But on top of my list is the pulled pork featured here. The sauce is my own concoction, which grew out of my desire for a tasty, juicy and slightly Asian-inspired flavor. In my opinion, the ciabatta bread is ideal for this kind of sandwich. It is tasty and robust enough to hold its own next to the stuffing, yet slim enough to make a rich and substantial,  but not ridiculously thick sandwich. (A “modern”, bad culinary habit) 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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drizzle generously with Thai chili sauce

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Pulled Hoisin-Pork Ciabatta Sandwich

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Pulled Hoisin-Pork Ciabatta Sandwich

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Pulled Hoisin-Pork Ciabatta Sandwich

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Pulled Hoisin-Pork Ciabatta Sandwich

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Roast Duck – Part Two – “Duck Soup With Rice Sticks And Baby Bok Choy”

Roast Duck – Part Two – “Duck Soup With Rice Sticks And Baby Bok Choy”

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Duck and noodles – what’s not to like about that ? 🙂
Since I prepare roast duck often, duck soup is naturally on the menu just as much. Even just a few bones, skin, scraps, innards and the neck from one duck, added to chicken or vegetable stock and seasoning, is enough to prep a rich, tasty soup. Any veggie, pasta, even rice thrown-in, and you’ll be rewarded with a tasty and economical meal. You can also strain the stock and use it to fix a great congee for breakfast, just add some scallions and fried shallots and voilà, another satisfying quickie. ( Meal, that is ! ) 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for  ROAST DUCK – PART ONE – “DUCK WITH DIRTY NOODLES”

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Click here for more  Duck  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here for more  Soup  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here for  Congee  on  ChefsOpinion
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Roast Duck – Part Two – “Duck Soup With Rice Sticks And Baby Bok Choy”

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Roast Duck – Part Two – “Duck Soup With Rice Sticks And Baby Bok Choy”

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Roast Duck – Part Two – “Duck Soup With Rice Sticks And Baby Bok Choy”

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Roast Duck – Part Two – “Duck Soup With Rice Sticks And Baby Bok Choy”

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Roast Duck – Part One – “Duck With Dirty Noodles”

Roast Duck – Part One – “Duck With Dirty Noodles”

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Last week I came across a special at my grocery store –   $ 10.50 for a whole duck, compared to the usual price of around $17.00 for the same size bird.
Of course, I bought two, because duck – anytime 🙂
After I defrosted the first one, I realized that it might be a good idea to prepare the duck in a way which will be more suitable to a bird which had probably spend a bit of extra time in the freezer (hence the special 🙂 ) , rather than just plain roasted and eaten without any additional preparation.
(I will post part two, “Roast Duck – Part Two – Duck Soup With Rice Sticks And Baby Bok Choy”, within the next few days)
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Duck  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here for more  Dirty Noodles  on  ChefsOpinion
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Roast Duck

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Roast Duck – Part One – “Duck With Dirty Noodles”

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Roast Duck – Part One – “Duck With Dirty Noodles”

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Dirty Noodles

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Roast Duck Recipe:
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Ingredients:
1 med size duck
Kosher salt to taste
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Method:
Preheat oven to 400F
Prick skin and fat of duck all over, remove excess fat-flaps
Season duck generously inside and out side with the salt.
Place duck breast-side down on a wire rack which rests on a sheet-pan.
Place into oven, immediately turn temperature down to 300 F
Roast duck for 3 hours and 45 minutes, turning duck every 30 minutes
After 3 hours and 45 minutes, increase heat to 420F, roast duck breast side up until skin is very crisp and golden, about 20 to 30 minutes.
Let the duck rest for 10 minutes before carving.
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Preparation :
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Shrimp & Egg Fried Rice

Shrimp & Egg Fried Rice

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This is one of these dishes which, at least in my humble opinion, actually benefits from the usage of smaller shrimp, compared to the larger shrimp we usually prefer for a great dish. While you can make a perfectly wonderful fried rice with large shrimp, the smaller ones can be used in abundance for the same price as a few large ones will cost. The mouth-feel is just better when the ratio of shrimp to rice is 50/50 🙂
In the past, when the only shrimp available to me were large ones, I actually cut them into smaller pieces to get that specific mouth-feel. (For a more impressive presentation, you can always put a few uncut  biggies on the top) 🙂
I enjoyed today’s fried rice as my breakfast, although it is an appropriate meal for any time of the day. I love rice for breakfast, usually in the form of congee with whatever is available, a tasty rice bowl (with whatever is available) or, as today, fried rice (with whatever is available) 🙂
“Whatever is available” can range from meats, seafood, fresh or pickled vegetables, eggs of any type, or – you guessed it – whatever else is in the fridge, freezer or cupboard 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Shrimp  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here for more  Rice  on  ChefsOpinion
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to serve, sprinkle with more scallion, add fried shallots and pickled mild chillies

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Shrimp & Egg Fried Rice

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Preparation :
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Not Your Typical Poolside Snack

Stir Fried Rice Flakes With Shrimp And Spicy Sausage

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Lately, the weather has been perfect for poolside meals – not too hot, not too windy, no rain.
Bella has taken on to take a swim in the pool whenever we are in the back. She used to hate the water, but all of a sudden she has become a big fan. For me, the water is still a bit too cold to enjoy swimming, but I love to cook outside and eating al fresco next to the water. Life is Good 🙂
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Bon Appetit !  Living In Florida Is Great (Mostly)  🙂
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Click here for more  Shrimp  on  ChefsOpinion
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Stir Fried Rice Flakes With Shrimp And Spicy Sausage

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Stir Fried Rice Flakes With Shrimp And Spicy Sausage

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Stir Fried Rice Flakes With Shrimp And Spicy Sausage

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Stir Fried Rice Flakes With Shrimp And Spicy Sausage

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Flaming Hot Chili Chicken Noodle Bowl With Broccolini And Straw Mushrooms

Meanwhile - in Florida..........BBQ Floridian Style

Meanwhile – in Florida……….BBQ Floridian Style

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OK,  while you let this sink in, let’s move on to today’s featured dish :
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If  you are not used to VERY hot food, don’t try these noodles !
If you love bland and boring noodle dishes, don’t try these noodles !
If you don’t want to open your mind and taste buds to new sensations, don’t try these noodles !
But, if you love the sensation of flaming hot (spicy) food and the incomparable mouthfeel you get when the pain of the first few spicy bites subside, to be replaced by the warm, slight numbness which can only be achieved by eating large numbers of chilies, then this dish is for you. (Think Szechuan hot pot)
While I don’t eat VERY spicy food as often as I used to, once in a while I need my fix, and today was the time to get it. 🙂
A wonderful dinner, a full belly and clear sinuses – another great and very enjoyable evening !
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Flaming Hot Chili Chicken Noodle Bowl With Broccoli And Straw Mushrooms

Flaming Hot Chili Chicken Noodle Bowl With Broccolini And Straw Mushrooms

 

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Flaming Hot Chili Chicken Noodle Bowl With Broccoli And Straw Mushrooms

Flaming Hot Chili Chicken Noodle Bowl With Broccolini And Straw Mushrooms

 

 

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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